By Jenny Fulton
Written in honor of my grandpa who was admitted to the hospital on December 3, 2019 and has been longing for Home.
*Update. My Grandpa was received home on January 16. The nurse said he before he passed it looked as though he was staring ahead at what awaited him there.
Originally Posted in the Faithwriters Challenge
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Four-year-old Zoe Allen followed her mommy through the sea of aunts, uncles, and cousins who filled the small room.
In spite of all the people, it was quiet. The only sound was a steady, continuous beep – beep – beep.
What was happening? Why was everybody here? Why wasn’t anybody talking?
Mommy stopped next to Daddy in front of a bed where an old man lay. Wires ran up from his body to meet various machines and bags of strange liquids. He scarcely moved, and he breathed as though his voice had been scratched by a fairy’s wings. The whole situation scared her.
“Zoe,” Mommy whispered. “Would you like to say hello to Grandpa?”
Zoe hesitated and looked up. Tears ran down Mommy’s face. “What’s wrong, Mommy? Why is he in that bed?”
Mommy turned away.
“Is that my little fairy I hear?” rasped the man in the bed.
Zoe nodded and inched closer.
“What’s wrong with you, Grandpa? Why is Mommy crying?”
“Cause I’m going home soon, little one.”
“Really? But that’s a happy thing, and nobody here looks happy.”
“Not my people home. No, I’m getting ready to go to my forever fairy home.”
“What do you mean?” Tears Zoe couldn’t explain made her cheeks wet. She felt a hand on her shoulder and looked up to see Mommy’s sad face.
“Dad, you should rest. You don’t need to answer her now.”
“Yes, I do, Celeste. She needs to know.”
“At least let me do it then?”
Grandpa nodded and settled back into the sheets.
“Zoe, all his life, Grandpa has served the Great Fairy King. In people talk, we call Him God. Now this Fairy King has a home that’s way far away.”
“How far is it? Where is it?”
Mommy looked around the room for a moment and then pointed at a painting on the wall opposite Grandpa’s bed. It showed a beautiful beach with calm water and a brilliantly colored sky.
“It’s there, beyond the waves where the water touches the sky. It’s a place so beautiful that fairies are only allowed to go there after they’ve lived all they can in the people world, because once they go there, they never want to come back. That’s how wonderful the Fairy King’s home is.”
“Wow! And that’s where Grandpa is getting ready to go?”
“It sure is, little one.” Grandpa struggled to push himself up on the bed and was immediately swarmed by people trying to help. “I’ve loved the Fairy King my whole life, and now I’ll finally get to see Him.”
Zoe’s eyes widened in happiness. “Wow, you’re so lucky.” She paused and frowned. “But when you go there you won’t be here anymore?”
Grandpa shook his head.
“Then, I’ll never see you again?” Tears burst forth from Zoe’s eyes.
Mommy hugged her tight. “You’ll see Grandpa again, Zoe. If you serve and follow the Great Fairy King like Grandpa did, then one day, after you have kids and grandkids and great grandkids, the Great Fairy King will let you come home too, and Grandpa will be there to greet you.”
“How will I know how to follow the Great Fairy King?’
Daddy took one of her hands in his. With his other hand, he held a big book. “We’ll show you how, Zoe. You know what this book is, don’t you?”
“Uh huh. It’s the Bible. You read it at dinner.”
“Well, this book is one way God, er, the Great Fairy King, teaches us how to follow Him. He also talks to us in our hearts and surrounds us with others who follow Him.”
“And if I follow Him like Grandpa does, I’ll get to be with Him and Grandpa forever?”
“I’m going to miss you, Grandpa, but I’ll see you again.”
“Yes, you will, fairy-girl.” Grandpa’s breathing suddenly became very weak. He leaned into his pillow and closed his eyes.
Everybody gathered closer around the bed.
Then, Grandpa sat up and stared hard at the painting. His voice was clear and strong. “He’s here, Zoe. He’s here. He’s come with His messengers to take me Home.”
With those final words, Grandpa’s body crumpled back against the sheets. A loud monotone noise screamed out from one of the machines as doctors and nurses rushed into the room.
Just before she was shoved away from the bed, Zoe caught one last glimpse of her grandpa. His eyes were open, and he was smiling.
“He’s Home, Mommy.”